ERIC Number: ED326971
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Optimal Speed Limits for School Buses on Virginia Highways: A Report to Virginia's Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Jernigan, Jack D.; Lynn, Cheryl W.
A study to assess whether the school bus speed limit should be changed in Virginia is described in this report. The relationship between the safety characteristics of Virginia's three-tiered speed limit system and school bus operation is examined to determine the optimal level of safety for school bus travel. Virginia allows the following three maximum speeds on its rural interstate highways: 45 mph for school buses, 55 mph for trucks, and 65 mph for other vehicles. Methodology involved a statute review of the 50 states; a literature review of speed and speed variance; a school bus safety survey; an accident data analysis; an attitude survey of 127 administrators, 487 drivers, and 81 special interest groups; and the development of a risk assessment model. Findings show that 45 states allow school buses to travel at higher speeds than Virginia does, and survey responses indicate that a majority favor raising speed limits for buses on rural, but not urban, interstate highways. A second factor was the presence of speed governors on the buses, which could contribute to an overall increase in travel speeds. A conclusion is that there are no compelling reasons to raise the maximum speed limits for school buses. Appendices include state statutes, accident data, questionnaires, sampling data, and opinion survey tables. Six figures and 21 tables are included. (10 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Virginia State Dept. of Education, Richmond.
Authoring Institution: Virginia Transportation Research Council, Charlottesville.
Identifiers: Speed Limits; Virginia
Note: Report prepared in cooperation with the Pupil Transportation Advisory Committee of the Virginia Department of Education and the Joint Secretarial Task Force on Interstate Highway Speed Limits.